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‘Tanaholic’ who injected self-tanning drugs didn’t let people see her pale for 12 years

‘Tanaholic’ who injected self-tanning drugs didn’t let people see her pale for 12 years #Tanaholic #injected #selftanning #drugs #didnt #people #pale #years Welcome to Viasildes, here is the new story we have for you today:

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Pictures of Mimiwith and without tan

Mimi said she had a serious addiction (Picture: Mimi Watt)

A ‘recovering tanaholic’ who refused to let anyone see her looking pale for 12 years has shared how she injected ‘dangerous’ self-tanning drugs to get the perfect shade.

Mimi Watt, from Sydney, Australia, said her obsession started when she was bullied at school. It became so bad that she once scrubbed her skin with a household cleaner and sunbathed without wearing suncream.

The 27-year-old is now sharing her story on TikTok so she can help other women in a similar situation.

Mimi says she was overcome by addiction.

‘Looking back over the past 12 years, I genuinely see someone who was so crippled by this addiction,’ she said. ‘I’m coming out the other side, I can’t believe I put myself through all the things I did to myself.

‘But I also remember very vividly feeling as though I didn’t have a choice, that’s why I call it an addiction, as it felt like something I had to do, even if a part of my mind was telling me it wasn’t safe.

Pictures of Mimi at school

Pictures of Mimi at school (Picture: Mimi Watts)

‘The need to fulfil this addiction was way too overpowering.

‘My whole life I have been shamed for caring so much about a superficial thing, but I want to show that it’s much more than that.’

At school Mimi was bullied for her pale skin. This began when she was just 15.

She believed only tanned girls were pretty and so started applying fake tan every week. It was an arduous up to two-hour ritual, but Mimi says seeing her skin glowing gave her a confidence boost.

‘The popular girls – who all had glowing tans – would say I was pasty and looked like a ghost,’ she recalled. ‘In a desperate attempt to fit in, I discovered fake tan. It was a magical solution.

‘In the early stages, I wasn’t very good at applying it, which meant my skin was often streaky.

‘After researching, I read how using a household bleach cleaner to rub off the old fake tan could help. So I tried it.

‘It didn’t burn, it just left my skin red, so I carried on. I would sneak it into the shower so my family wouldn’t see.

‘I was in the grips of an addiction and at the time I couldn’t see the damage it could do to me, only that it would lead to me getting a better tan.

‘I was so insecure about my pale skin that nothing stopped me.’


Mimi as a teen

Mimi started tanning at just 15 (Picture: Mimi Watts)

Mimi hated anyone seeing her without fake tan. She would miss social occasions and would dread anyone having a pool party.

She was terrified of her friends and boyfriends seeing her pale, so she would only meet them on the days after she had applied fake tan.

‘It became a competition as to who could get the darkest, nicest tan,’ Mimi explained. ‘It was the centre of my universe and everything revolved around my tan.

‘Socialising was only possible if I had tanned and I’d have emotional breakdowns if my tan wasn’t looking good.

‘I’ve had several relationships since my first boyfriend at 17. I wasn’t nervous about my tan rubbing off when we were intimate, but I kept my tanning a secret – I was so ashamed.’

Her addiction became so bad that at 19 she bought illegal ‘Barbie drug’ melanotan online. This is an artificial hormone that stimulates pigment cells in skin to produce melanin that makes it look darker.

The product is unlicensed and unregulated, meaning it hasn’t been through stringent safety tests for human use.


Mimi pictured with two friends during her tanning days

Mimi during her tanning days (Picture: Mimi Watts)

However, it is widely available online.

Mimi admits she experienced side effects including nausea, headaches, hot flushes and disrupted sleep, but this didn’t deter her. She kept it a secret too, and didn’t tell her parents.

‘In 2013 a friend told me about melanotan – and I was desperate to get my hands on some,’ she says.

‘I managed to buy some online, and while nervous about the unknown side effects, I began injecting it into my stomach daily to begin with.

‘It took a few weeks to build up the melanin production and I had to lie in the sun to stimulate the tan, but when it started working, it was incredible. I thought using an SPF would restrict my tanning so I avoided it. Then I injected every second or third day.

‘I would use a sunbed a few times a week to enhance my tan. One vial of melanotan would cost $150-$200 and that would last a month while each sunbed was $40 each time.


Mimi pictured with a friend on a boat

She even started using melanotan (Picture: Mimi Watts)

‘It didn’t wash off when I had a shower or went swimming, it wasn’t patchy, it didn’t smell, it was real and I was hooked, feeling more confident than ever.

‘I buried my head in the sand about the consequences, all I wanted was the tan.

‘I didn’t tell anyone, my parents had no idea.’

Mimi used melanotan for five years before she realised that it wasn’t working as well as it did in the beginning. She realised she needed to lie in the sun for longer and increase her sunbed usage to get the same deep tan.

She started to worry about the damage she was doing to her skin and health as she had lots of freckles and moles across her body.

By 2018, she’d had enough and resorted back to her original vice – bottled fake tan.

‘I have more wrinkles on my skin than I would have if I hadn’t spent so much time in the sun and I worry about how my skin will age,’ she noted.

‘My fake tan addiction has always had a hold over me, but it wasn’t until two years ago in 2020 that I began to feel the urge and desire to want to overcome it.

‘I was becoming more conscious of how it was holding me back in life and realised that I couldn’t and didn’t want to keep it up forever.

‘But I found people seeing me pale, an excruciatingly vulnerable experience. I felt utterly naked. People would make comments like, “are you feeling okay? You’re looking very pale”.’


Mimi without tan

Mimi now without tan (Picture: Mimi Watts)

In 2020, Mimi had a breakdown. She realised she was faking her way through life but didn’t know how to stop her tan addiction.

From September 2020 to January 2021, Mimi ditched the fake tan altogether after feeling like she ‘couldn’t do it anymore’.

She began trying to embrace her natural, pale skin and although it wasn’t easy, she felt free for the first time in years.

Sadly, she relapsed in January after a trip to Byron Bay when a friend applied fake tan.

She believed there would be other people going through the same thing, so in May 2022, Mimi set up a TikTok account under the profile ‘Recovering Tanaholic’.

Her videos started going viral.

She also set up an Instagram account to help others who are in a similar situation and now has a community of 10,000 people around the world.

‘Alcohol and drug addiction are so common and spoken about, but fake tan addiction isn’t spoken about and it’s trivialised – I want to shed light on it to normalise it,’ she says.

More: Health

‘If you feel as though this has a hold on your life you’re not crazy. It’s clear from my TikTok account there are thousands of other women going through this too.

‘I’ve been inundated with messages from other women and girls who are addicted to having tanned skin.

‘They tell me how my TikTok has helped them with their own struggles with fake tan and to feel less alone.

‘I still fake tan once a week but I don’t do it as dark as I used to. The main difference in my relationship with fake tan now is that I want to overcome my addiction.

‘And if by speaking out and revealing what I’ve been through I can help other women, then hopefully something good can come out of my experience.’

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Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.

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Daniel Joseph

Daniel with 10+ years of experience in Writing, Content Marketing. I write posts mostly about celebrity and other entertainment related stuffs. I love sharing my knowledge with the community. Here, I bring you the latest happening around the Globe. Your support would mean a lot to me!

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